‘My dad stabbed my mom’
Jury in murder trial of illegal immigrant hears child’s 9-1-1 call
After watching his father stab his mother multiple times Jan. 20, their then-9-year-old son went to a neighbor’s house in the Landmark Mobile Home Park and called 911.
“My dad stabbed my mom,” the child told a 911 operator in a recording played for a jury in Fayette County Superior Court Tuesday. The operator asked if it was an accident, and the child replied “no.”
“We need an ambulance ... it’s an emergency,” the child said.
The emotional 911 recording was part of the murder trial of illegal immigrant Jesus Ojeda Jimenez, 34, who is accused of murdering his wife Liliana Ruiz, the mother to his three children.
Jimenez’s defense attorney, Marco Corales, argued that the killing was not premeditated but instead his client was enraged with jealousy over an alleged affair his wife was having with another man.
Prosecutor Warren Sellers painted a different picture, telling the jury that Jimenez picked out a kitchen knife and waited in the dark for his wife to come home. Sellers also said Jimenez wrote a note in advance asking for his children to be taken care of, and asking for him to be forgiven.
Ruiz was stabbed in the shoulder, elbow and hand as she tried to defend herself, attempting to run away from Jimenez, Sellers said. One of the children tried to physically halt the attack, but Jimenez pushed the child away and continued to stab Ruiz, Sellers said.
After Jimenez ran away, the child took off his shirt and tried to stop his mother’s bleeding, Sellers said.
“He held her head in his lap as she took her last breath,” Sellers told the jury in opening statements in the trial.
Jimenez faces felony counts of malice murder, felony murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and three felony counts of cruelty to children in the first degree.
The latter three charges were brought because the attack occurred in front of the couple’s three children.
The jury is expected later to see a recording of Jimenez’s interview with a Fayette County Sheriff’s Detective in which Jimenez admits to the killing.
Despite a challenge from defense attorney Marco Corales, the video recording was deemed admissible because Jimenez freely gave the statement with no coercion on the part of the Fayette County sheriff’s detective who interviewed him or the sheriff’s deputy who translated during the interview, the court ruled.
Corales challenged the admissibility of the recording because Jimenez did not sign a written statement waiving his Miranda rights, but Jimenez verbally waived those rights on the recording.
Jimenez was actually in the country illegally when he turned himself in following the execution of a warrant for his arrest for the murder in January, federal officials confirmed. Jimenez was deported to Mexico in April 2010, two months after he pled guilty to striking Liliana Ruiz, 30, multiple times in an assault Nov. 14, 2009 that left her with a number of bruises and abrasions all over her body, a swollen eye and a bloody nose, according to the sheriff’s incident report.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Warren Sellers and the trial judge in the case is Robert Mack Crawford.